Our Visit to Northern Michigan, Mackinac Island & Sault Ste. Marie

We spent three weeks in August at Indian River RV Resort in northern Michigan and had a great time.

We biked along their numerous rail trails, floated down the Indian River with our friends on their rented pontoon boat, had delicious food, and enjoyed the mild temperatures.

However, we did take two days to visit two of Michigan’s famous destinations—Mackinac Island and Sault St. Marie.

Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island is only accessible by boat, and there are very few vehicles on the island. We chose to ride with Shepler’s Ferry.

Biking is the way to see all of the island and we were prepared to take our bikes with us. However, after doing some research and being under the misguided impression that e-bikes weren’t allowed on the island, we chose to leave ours behind. (NOTE: according to all the signage and rules, e-bikes are not allowed. However, we saw lots of them on the island.)

There are several places to rent bikes on the island, and we chose one that prorated the rental. We knew we only wanted to do one trip around the island and then walk the rest of the time, so our rental for a little over an hour was about $16/each.

Here are some tips we learned regarding biking the island:

  • Get there early! We took the first ferry over at 7:30 (along with many of the workers). Much less crowded on the island.
  • Rent your bikes on the island. This is much easier than paying to take your own bikes on the ferry and having to keep track of them all day, especially once the island gets crowded.
  • Ride first and walk later.
  • Go to the left around the island. Everyone goes to the right; we had most of the loop to ourselves.

After dropping our bikes off, we spent the day exploring the village, having lunch, and seeing the fort.

Sault Ste. Marie

We spent another day in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. To be more specific, the Soo Locks.

The Soo Locks connect Lake Huron and Lake Superior and are an important shipping channel along the Great Lakes.

We rode with the Original Soo Locks Boat Tour Company. This 2+ hour tour took us through the locks, before turning around on the Canadian side and going back through the locks. Along the way, the knowledgeable staff told the history of the locks and shipping along the canal. It was definitely worth the cost.

After the tour, we walked around the quaint town of Sault St. Marie and checked out the shops. This is definitely a must-do if you’re in the area.


We loved northern Michigan. We didn’t go all the way to the Upper Peninsula (UP) except for the drive to Sault Ste. Marie, but we explored a lot. We would love to go back at explore more of the UP and the western side of Michigan.

We’re Mike & Jennifer Skinnell, and together we are The Rambling Quilter. We travel the country full-time in our 41ft. fifth-wheel pulled by our F-350 – affectionately named Beauty & The Beast. Mike still works part-time, and Jennifer writes our blog, travel articles, and contemporary fiction. Our blog is purely for information and entertainment purposes. However, if you’d like to support Jennifer’s writing career, her author link is below.


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